The US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) has completed the testing of the ship’s defense capabilities during Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials (CSSQT).
As explained, CSSQT tested Abraham Lincoln’s ability to operate onboard weapons systems, including the close-in weapons system (CIWS), rolling airframe missile (RAM) launchers and the Enhanced NATO Sea Sparrow Missile System (ESSM).
“CSQTT is pivotal because it certifies our weapons systems. CSQTT’s purpose is to show our ship’s self-defense system (SSDS) can protect the ship. To do that, we have to live-fire each weapons system at a target and either hit the target or get close to it, depending on the weapons system,” Cmdr. Scott Ryan, Abraham Lincoln’s Combat Direction Center Officer, said.
Each missile launched by the ship intercepted subsonic, sea-skimming drones flown to the Atlantic Ocean from Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex, Virginia.
In addition to the CIWS, Abraham Lincoln fired one RIM-162D Sea Sparrow missile and one RIM-116 test RAM.
The Enhanced NATO Sea Sparrow missile is a semi-active missile requiring a feed from directors to locate a target. The RAM is a passive missile that uses built-in sensors to track down its target. The ship’s ENSSMS holds eight missiles per launcher, and the RAM launchers each hold 21 missiles.
Ensign Ezekiel Ramirez, Abraham Lincoln’s fire control officer said his team spent three months of hard work and preparation to be ready for the week-long CSSQT evolution and, ultimately, arm the ship with the capability to defend herself.
According to the US Navy, testing Abraham Lincoln’s SSDS is critical to taking the ship another step closer to launch as a deployment-ready warship.
CSQTT demonstrates how Abraham Lincoln is fine-tuning her weapons systems and training personnel to enhance the mission-readiness of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12.
The components of CSG-12 embody a “team-of-teams” concept, combining advanced surface, air and systems assets to create and sustain operational capability.
The Abraham Lincoln CSG is comprised of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 2, associated guided-missile destroyers, flagship Abraham Lincoln, and the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).